New Deal II ad (descendants)

Here’s our recap of a full-page ad that ran in the print edition of the News Journal this morning:

Dear Vice President Biden: We must fight for a 21st Century New Deal.

“We are descendants of the men and women who designed and implemented President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the worst economic decline of the 20th Century.”

Great to hear of your belief that your presidency “must be more ambitious than FDR’s.” 21st Century version could restore belief in a government that works for all Americans because it’s on the side of ordinary people. Herewith some suggested “pillars for any new policy.”

•All Americans who want paid work can earn a living wage whenever there’s a job shortage. Establish a permanent federal transitional jobs program, which would draw on the experience of the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps.

•Unemployment Insurance benefits should be expanded to cover unemployed workers who are self-employed (often in the Gig Economy) or part-time. And a much higher federal minimum wage, permanently indexed for inflation, is needed to take care of workers who are one step away from financial ruin. Also amend federal labor laws to make it easier and safer for workers to unionize and engage in collective bargaining.

•Hike tax credits for wage earners, including those without children as well as working parents. House-passed HEROES Act took a big step in the right direction.

•Provide paid family leave for all workers, e.g., to care for a newborn baby, adopted child, or ailing relative. Also guarantee free or affordable childcare. Temporary measures during the Covid-19 pandemic were fine, but permanent programs are needed.

•Establish a new model for healthcare insurance based on the principles of universal coverage, good benefits, choice of healthcare providers, fair financing, and cost control. Covid-19 drove home the need to do these things.

•Immediately address climate change and other environmental assaults on the sustainability of our planet; focus on immediate transition to a renewable energy economy. This may be our last chance.

•In the New Deal era, the rich paid their fair share and the middle class flourished as never before. Today, the ultra-rich pay less than the middle class and leave the least affluent to foot the bill for running our country. Fundamental tax reform is required!

•Education has been disrupted at every level across the nation by Covid-19. RX: A federal program to effectively address the racial disparity prevalent in our educational system, relieve some of the crushing load of student loan debt, and retool Americans for a rapidly evolving 21st Century economy.

•Solve problems that the original New Deal failed to address, including structural racism, gender inequality, and voting rights.

Sincerely, James Roosevelt, Jr.. (grandson of FDR); Henry Scott Wallace (grandson of V-P Henry Wallace), June Hopkins (granddaughter of Harry Hopkins), Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall (grandson of Frances Perkins), and Harold M. Ickes (son of Harold L. Ickes).
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